What's on Rene's Mac dock right now!

What's on Rene's Mac dock right now!

Escalation. Costner brings a knife, Connery brings a gun. Wayne dresses in a bat suit, a smiling psycho gets green hair and a purple suit. And I write an article about my iPad Home screen, so Peter goes and posts about his Mac dock. Well, two can play the escalation game. So, here's what's on my Retina MacBook Pro dock right now!

  • Wallpaper: I'm Captain Default, live with it.
  • Mac App Store: It's where I get and re-download most of my Mac apps.
  • iTunes: I use iCloud for sync so the only reason I keep iTunes around — aside from the occasional DFU restore — is to convert our podcast files to MP3 and add metadata before I upload. There are other tools that can do both, but iTunes is easy.
  • iBooks: I don't really read on my Mac but I like having all of Apple's stores all lumped together.
  • Mail: I have both my personal iCloud and work Gmail going into Apple's default mail client. I like unified inboxes.
  • Safari: I use Safari for 80% of my web browsing. I do keep Chrome installed for occasional Flash files and Google services, but I vastly prefer the look and experience of Safari, and the ties to iOS Safari as well.
  • System Preferences: I could probably remove System Preferences from my Dock but I sort of like the comfort of it being there, omnipresent.
  • iPhoto: Thanks to Photo Stream all the screenshots and photos I take from my iPhone and iPad show up in iPhoto for easy dragging to Photoshop, almost instantaneously. - Free with new Macs - Download now
  • Aperture: I mostly use Aperture to do a few quick adjustments before right-clicking and "editing in Photoshop". That's why I use it over Lightroom. The lack of updates and features have minimal impact and I don't need the workflow Lightroom provides. - $79,99 - Download now
  • Photoshop: I've been using it for decades. It's muscle memory at this point. Almost all imaging I do is done in Photoshop. (And I kinda like the new Creative Cloud subscription model...) - $(variable) - Download now
  • Napkin: How we do all the how-to diagrams we do on iMore. There's nothing faster or easier. Most of the staff here use it now. - $39.99 - Download now
  • Tweetbot: There are several great Twitter apps for Mac but Tweetbot fits the way my brain works. - $19.99 - Download now
  • iMessage: Most of my friends and family have Macs and use iPhones and iPads so we all stay connected via iMessage. Yeah, there are rare glitches, but 95% of the time it works fast and flawlessly, and it has apps on mobile and desktop.
  • Skype: The Mobile Nations office phone. When I'm working, I'm on Skype. And angry about it!. - Free - Download now
  • TextExpander: Most of what I write online is in Markdown and TextExpander makes entering frequent passages, links, data, and boiler plate so fast, so easy, that I don't know how anyone can work without it. - $34.95 - Download now
  • Feeder: I produce 5 or so podcasts a week here at iMore and every one of their RSS feeds is burned using Feeder. - $39.99 - Download now
  • BBEdit: If it's plain text, chances are I wrote it in BBEdit. For what I do, it's like bringing a nuke to a fist fight, but I like the idea that I'll likely never out grow what I'm typing it. - $49.99 - Download now
  • Coda 2: I don't manually edit web sites as often as I used to — we have far smarter people for that on our tech team! — but whenever I have to tweak a header or CSS file or do anything else on any server, I do it with Panic's Coda 2. - $74.99 - Download now

There are a couple other apps I use all the time but aren't in my menu bar, like Final Cut Pro and Garage Band, because I'd forget to quit them when I was done if I got overly used to seeing them there, and they hit the resources hard enough I don't want to forget to quit them. There's also a bunch of stuff, Like Dropbox, 1Password, and Fantastical, that I use all the time but that sit in the menu bar rather than the Dock. Let me know if you're curious about them and I'll do a follow up about what's in my menu bar. Also, fair's fair — now that I've shown you mine, tell me yours! What's in your Mac Dock right now?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

What's on Rene's Mac dock right now!


Besids some of the apps you've listed, I have the app for my HP printer, Evernote, Pages and Numbers and Google Drive. I took the App Store off the dock so I don't get tempted to buy apps. Out of sight, out of mind.

Skype really does suck. What I've found to help is leave Skype to video/voice only, and use Slack (https://slack.com/) for IMing. It's freaking amazing - inline images, GDocs/Dropbox support, integrates with apps like Asana and Trello, et cetera. And since it's browser-based, it's as cross-platform as one can get. AND BEST OF ALL - its mobile app keeps up with chat. In my experience, messages actually hit mobile faster than they do the desktop, and leaving it running all day has negligible battery life impact. I've found Skype works a hell of a lot better when it doesn't have to load 5k messages every time you open the app.

As for my dock, it's pretty similar, but with Reminders, Calendar, Evernote, Skitch, Illustrator (CC ftw), Slack (via Fluid), Droplr and Spotify.

Nice piece. Two questions...

1. You chose not to install Flash in Safari, even with it being sandboxed in Mavericks?
2. Is Gmail working smoothly now with Mail.app?

  1. Flash doesn't come pre-installed in Safari and I felt no need to add it. I leave Chrome for that.
  2. I had more problems with Gmail under Lion and Mountain Lion than Mavericks.

I will uninstall flash and use Chrome as backup as you do. Let's see how the web has evolved. I will also give Airmail a rest try Mail. I do prefer default apps.

Sent from the iMore App

not a stupid question b/c i was wondering the same thing so i googled it:
*go to system preferences
*select users & groups
*select login options (you'll have to click the lock & enter your admin password to make changes)
* select "show fast user switching menu as", then select which version you want it to show from the drop down
* you should see your name in the menu bar

hope this helps!

I have to check out the app Text expander. This seems to be a very productive software. I really enjoy this feature from your site. It would be great to see others outside of iMore staff. Can you add developers and other iOS users.

Sent from the iMore App

It's pretty awesome. I type in a few letters and get everything from my home address to frequent links for iMore to web formatting. Skies the limit!

What's in my dock,
1. Launchpad
2. System preferences
3. Safari
4. Chrome
5. iMessages
6. Notes
7. iMovie
8. iTunes
9. Mac App Store
10. Airmail
11. Day one
12. tweetbot
And on the far right I have a folder that's "Doge" themed containing all of my apps, oh.. And my background wallpaper is one of the defaults called "brushes" (:

Sent from the iMore App

TextExpander is nice, but it lost its place in my dock longtime ago to a thing called aText. Does the same, has several additional features for extra coolness and is about $30 cheaper. Bonuspoints for a very responsive developer.

Also on my dock:
Dirk Holtwick's Favs, that gathers all things 'faved' on the online services I use (Youtube, Twitter, Pinboard, Instagram etc); Simplenote (for my, errr, simplenotes); the back-from-almost-abandonware todo app The Hit List (though allmost non-developed the last couple of years still the todo app that makes me more GTD'd than Omnifocus and Things combined); Google Chrome (Safari is my default browser, but whenever I need to open a Flash-thingy quickly I'll drop the Safari URL icon on Google Chrome - no need to copy-and-paste) and the essential Webdev toolkit xScope (whenever I need to measure anything screen-related).

That's all just windowdressing most of the time. I'm a longtime user of Alfred, the software that starts my apps and urls (and a whole nunch of other things) with just a few key-combinations.

What's in my Dock:
1. Safari
2. AirMail
3. Quickbooks 2014
4. Merlin
5. Outline
6. MindNode Pro
7. Tweetbot
8. 1Password
9. Things
10. Evernote
11. MoneyWiz
12. DayOne
13. Pocket
14. Leaf
15. Skype
16. iTunes
17. VLC
18. Pixelmator
19. OmniGraffle
20. Microsoft Excel

My wallpaper rotate the default wallpapers every 30 minutes.

I have many apple defaults on my dock. finder, contacts, reminders, messages, notes, maps, mission control and launchpad. Facetime, itunes, ibooks and appstore.

But the extras are firefox, chrome, Microsoft Word and Excel. Boring and business friendly.

Not really applications but I create folders for iWorks and Office for the Mac with those applications in them. Easier than going through the Application Folder there.

Why do you have your dock on the bottom, rather than over on the right, where it belongs? :-}

And do you have it set to auto-disappear?

I've actually removed most of the stuff from my dock. It's largely filled with a bunch of boring apps like XCode and iTerm...and of course Blizzard's new Battle.net game Launcher.

Unfortunately my early life in Windows has trained me to type [OS Key]-space, type the first portion of an app name, and press the Enter key to launch it.

Luckily this works relatively well with Command-space. :)